Small Sats – Trajectory Magazine http://trajectorymagazine.com We are the official publication of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) – the nonprofit, educational organization supporting the geospatial intelligence tradecraft Tue, 20 Feb 2018 16:12:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.4 https://i2.wp.com/trajectorymagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/cropped-TRJ-website-tab-icon-1.png?fit=32%2C32 Small Sats – Trajectory Magazine http://trajectorymagazine.com 32 32 127732085 Weekly GEOINT Community News http://trajectorymagazine.com/weekly-geoint-community-news-43/ Mon, 12 Feb 2018 16:56:15 +0000 http://trajectorymagazine.com/?p=36324 AP Posts Interactive Imagery of Olympic Campus; General Dynamics to Acquire CSRA; Lockheed Martin Launches "Open Space" Satellite Project; PAR Technology Wins Air Force Research Contract; More

The post Weekly GEOINT Community News appeared first on Trajectory Magazine.

]]>
AP Posts Interactive Imagery of Olympic Campus

Associated Press (AP) Interactive is offering virtual tours of the 2018 Winter Olympic venues in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Explore a high-resolution, geo-tagged map of the Olympic grounds created with DigitalGlobe imagery and powered by Esri, as well as AP drone video footage and on-the-ground photography.

General Dynamics to Acquire CSRA

General Dynamics and CSRA announced they have entered into an agreement under which General Dynamics will acquire CSRA for $9.6 billion. Phebe Novakovic, chairman and CEO of General Dynamics said of the agreement: “CSRA’s management team has created an outstanding provider of innovative, next-generation IT solutions with industry-leading margins. We see substantial opportunities to provide cost-effective IT solutions and services to the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, and federal civilian agencies. The combination enables GDIT to grow revenue and profits at an accelerated rate. It will allow us to deliver even more innovative, leading-edge solutions to our customers.”

Fulcrum IT Acquires The PTR Group

Fulcrum IT Services acquired The PTR Group, a provider of software engineering and cyber services. The acquisition strengthens Fulcrum’s presence in cyber, robotic control software, and satellite engineering, and expands the company’s client portfolio to include the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Naval Research Laboratory, and NASA.

Lockheed Martin Launches “Open Space” Satellite Project

Lockheed Martin published technical specifications for the LM 2100 satellite platform, the LM 400 small satellite, and two variants of the new LM 50 nanosat series as part of a satellite innovation project called Open Space. To strengthen collaboration among industry, Lockheed is inviting start-ups and other companies to propose non-proprietary technologies for integration with Lockheed satellite platforms. Interested companies or individuals may submit concepts until May 11.

PAR Technology Wins Air Force Research Contract

PAR Technology’s government systems subsidiary was awarded a $4.5 million synchronized command and control multi-domain test and integration contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory. PAR Government’s ISR unit will lead a three-year research and development campaign focused on C4ISR solutions in cyber, air, and space.

Cubic Awarded Extended EUCOM Analytical Contract 

Cubic Corporation’s Global Defense unit was awarded a contract to continue providing analytical support to the U.S. European Command’s Joint Training and Exercise Division. Cubic personnel will develop and deliver training and exercise services for joint operations, strategic partnerships, and interoperability. The contract extends a three-year history of direct support to EUCOM’s Joint Exercise Program.

Woolpert Upgrades Aerial Acquisition Capabilities

Woolpert announced multiple equipment and technology investments to improve its aerial acquisition capabilities. Among the upgrades are new LiDAR sensors, an expanded fleet of airplanes and pilots, imagery processing automation tools, and geospatial storage hubs. Woolpert also invested in the RealTerrain workflow solution, which consists of Leica Geosystems’ TerrainMapper LiDAR sensor and accompanying HxMap software.

OGC Requests Responses to Portrayal Concept Development Study

The Open Geospatial Consortium announced the Portrayal Concept Development Study, an investigation into aesthetic symbology for web-based mapping. Current web-based maps often neglect cartographic concepts of color, symbolism, patterns, and shapes, and OGC aims to create standards that enable production-quality representations of raster, vector, and other data. To do so, OGC is requesting suggestions from the geospatial community about the portrayal of data in web-based mapping tools. Email OGC at portrayalcds-response@opengeospatial.org to contribute.

Photo Credit: Associated Press Digital Products

The post Weekly GEOINT Community News appeared first on Trajectory Magazine.

]]>
36324
Weekly GEOINT Community News http://trajectorymagazine.com/weekly-geoint-community-news-35/ Mon, 11 Dec 2017 17:32:56 +0000 http://trajectorymagazine.com/?p=35545 SpaceFlight to Launch 11 Satellites in January; Boundless and Monsanto Partner to Support Open Source Community; Avenza Maps Launches in GEOINT App Store; More

The post Weekly GEOINT Community News appeared first on Trajectory Magazine.

]]>
SpaceFlight to Launch 11 Satellites in January

Rideshare service provider SpaceFlight announced the launch of 11 spacecraft from India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle is planned for early January. Systems to be launched include Finland’s ICEYE-X1 SAR microsatellite, four Spire Global Lemur-2 cubesats, Astro Digital’s Landmapper-BC3, AMSAT’s Fox-1D cubesat, and others. The cubesat integration is already complete and the cargo is currently en route to India where it will await takeoff.

Boundless and Monsanto Partner to Support Open Source Community

Boundless and agriculture company Monsanto announced a partnership to contribute code to the Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) community. Among the contributions are: an OAuth Plugin that enables QuantumGIS users to determine what data on the system is accessible to the user; a CKAN plugin for QuantumGIS; and a Geoserver XAuth plugin. These codes will help establish smoother authentication systems and provide easier access to data for open-source users.

General Dynamics Awarded U.S. Air Force Operations Contract

General Dynamics Information Technology won the U.S. Air Force Distributed Mission Operations Center contract for infrastructure, development, and engineering support at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, N.M. The ID/IQ contract is valued at $47 million, and enlists General Dynamics to develop and maintain simulation software and hardware, build network infrastructure, and integrate a live, virtual combat environment for warfighter training.

CACI Wins Army Airborne C4ISR Task Order

CACI International was awarded a $91 million task order to support the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center’s flight activity, primarily focusing on surveillance and communications. CACI will provide systems integration, training support, and electronic and mechanical engineering design services. The company will also test new technologies in areas such as radio frequency, electro-optical, thermal, radar, and acoustic systems.

Avenza Maps Launches in GEOINT App Store

Avenza Systems has partnered with NGA to bring its Avenza Maps offline mapping application to the GEOINT App Store for download by defense and intelligence community users. The app allows users to import and access proprietary or classified maps, and includes unlimited access to the Avenza Map Store’s existing repository of digital maps. User-owned maps can be uploaded to the store for sale at the user’s discretion.

Northrop Grumman Retains Army Logistics Contract

Northrop Grumman will retain its nine-year, $750 million Army logistics services contract for support of aircraft used in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. The defense contractor will be responsible for program management, systems engineering, supply chain management, and aircraft modifications and upgrades to 75 ISR aircraft.

Photo Credit: Northrop Grumman

The post Weekly GEOINT Community News appeared first on Trajectory Magazine.

]]>
35545
Weekly GEOINT Community News http://trajectorymagazine.com/weekly-geoint-community-news-30/ Mon, 06 Nov 2017 16:15:34 +0000 http://trajectorymagazine.com/?p=35378 Boundless Moves Headquarters to St. Louis; DigitalGlobe and Orbital Insight Expand Partnership; Planet Doubles Capacity to Capture Sub-One Meter Imagery

The post Weekly GEOINT Community News appeared first on Trajectory Magazine.

]]>
Boundless Moves Headquarters to St. Louis

GIS company Boundless announced it will move its headquarters from New York City to St. Louis. The location change is a response to the explosion of the geospatial market in St. Louis (including its significant NGA presence) and a move to bolster the company’s recruiting efforts. Boundless plans to expand from approximately 100 employees to 150 in the next two years by leveraging the talent emerging from St. Louis area universities. Additionally, St. Louis has been recognized as a top startup city in America.

DigitalGlobe and Orbital Insight Expand Partnership

DigitalGlobe and analytics firm Orbital Insight expanded their existing data partnership in pursuit of global-scale analytic solutions to help businesses make better-informed decisions. Orbital Insight will become a partner on DigitalGlobe’s Geospatial Big Data (GBDX) platform to improve the resolution and spatial coverage of the data interpreted by the system. DigitalGlobe will grant Orbital Insight access to its time-lapse image library, which Orbital will use to refine its own consumer data analysis offering.

Planet Doubles Capacity to Capture Sub-One Meter Imagery

Planet made its twentieth satellite launch last week, sending six SkySats and four Doves aboard an Orbital-ATK rocket destined for a sun synchronous 500km orbit. The new SkySat constellation will double Planet’s capacity to capture sub-one meter imagery. The fleet was sent to an afternoon crossing time (as opposed to the typical morning crossing time) to capture new and diverse datasets.

Peer Intel

The MITRE Corporation appointed Samuel S. Visner the new leader of the National Cybersecurity Federally Funded Research and Development Center (NCF). Visner joins MITRE from ICF International, where he served as senior vice president for cybersecurity and resilience. He’ll continue NCF’s recent efforts to streamline operations and expand academic and cybersecurity partnerships.

Photo Credit: NextSTL

The post Weekly GEOINT Community News appeared first on Trajectory Magazine.

]]>
35378
Weekly GEOINT Community News http://trajectorymagazine.com/weekly-geoint-community-news-25/ Mon, 02 Oct 2017 20:39:22 +0000 http://trajectorymagazine.com/?p=34883 Australia to Create Space Agency; Planet to Launch SkySats; RAND Publishes Roadmap to Success for NGA; Orbital Insight Reveals Extent of Hurricane Harvey Flooding

The post Weekly GEOINT Community News appeared first on Trajectory Magazine.

]]>
Australia to Create Space Agency

The Australian government announced last week the creation of a national space agency. The move is a major step forward in the country’s recent efforts to expand its domestic space economy.

Following this news, Australian defence industry minister Christopher Pyne announced two new space programs. One is a three-year deal between the Royal Australian Air Force and the University of New South Wales Canberra that will launch three mini satellites to test communications, remote sensing, and spaceflight modeling. The other program, called High Altitude Sensing Systems, will involve investment in and research of high frequency satellite sensors as well as land and ocean imaging systems.

Planet to Launch SkySats

Planet announced it will launch six SkySats and four Dove satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base October 17. This will be the first time Planet has launched SkySats since its acquisition of Terra Bella from Google in February. As the launch’s only customer, Planet was able to specify the launch timing and target orbit as a sun-synchronous, 500 km orbit with a 1:30 p.m. crossing time. This orbit will complement the company’s existing morning-SSO constellation and maximize revisit rates.

RAND Researchers Publish Roadmap to Success for NGA

RAND National Defense Research Institute published a “Roadmap to Succeed in the Open for NGA’s Human Development Directorate.” The document is a guide to achieving the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s (NGA) missions and accessing information and resources in unclassified environments.

Geospatial Corporation Approved as IGAPP Vendor

Geospatial Corporation was approved as a vendor for the Innovative GEOINT Application Provider Program (IGAPP), a supply chain of geospatial apps for NGA, managed by Engility. Geospatial Corporation plans to submit a free GeoUnderground Android app to the IGAPP store. Having approved vendor status will fortify Geospatial Corporation’s presence as a solution provider in the Intelligence Community and broader federal sector.

Orbital Insight Reveals Extent of Hurricane Harvey Flooding

Image processing startup Orbital Insight applied intelligent detection algorithms to satellite imagery of areas flooded by Hurricane Harvey and found staggering results. Preliminary analysis shows the extent of the flooding is actually three times the size previously reported. The difference is Orbital’s ability to interpret specialized Synthetic Aperture Radar data, which is unimpeded by the same cloud cover that stymied other flood measurement efforts.

The post Weekly GEOINT Community News appeared first on Trajectory Magazine.

]]>
34883
Weekly GEOINT Community News http://trajectorymagazine.com/weekly-geoint-community-news-17/ Mon, 07 Aug 2017 13:19:07 +0000 http://trajectorymagazine.com/?p=34426 Lockheed Martin Building New Satellite Facility; Accenture Acquires Search Technologies; CACI ISS Awarded Navy C4ISR Contract; Leidos Test AgilePod for U.S. Air Force

The post Weekly GEOINT Community News appeared first on Trajectory Magazine.

]]>
Lockheed Martin Building New Satellite Facility

Lockheed Martin recently began construction on a new, $350 million facility that will produce next-generation satellites. The Gateway Center will be located on the company’s Waterton Canyon campus near Denver, Colo. The facility will include a state-of-the-art high bay clean room capable of simultaneously building a spectrum of micro- to macro-satellites. The building will accommodate recent growth and future projects. Completion of the Gateway Center is slated for 2020.

Accenture Acquires Search Technologies

Accenture acquired Search Technologies, a Virginia-based technology services firm specializing in the design, implementation, and management of big data and search analytics. Search Technologies delivers content analytics capabilities helping clients better understand their business, customers, and markets through transactional and contextual data. By applying machine learning to this type of client data, Accenture can help generate new insights.

CACI ISS Awarded Navy C4ISR Contract

CACI Integrated Security Solutions (ISS) was awarded a $10 million contract by the U.S. Navy for C4ISR support. According to C4ISRNet, the CACI ISS team will support the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s Special Communications Mission Solutions Division. The contract is scheduled for completion by December 2017.

Leidos Tests AgilePod for U.S. Air Force

Leidos recently completed testing of sensor systems on the U.S. Air Force’s multi-sensor platform AgilePod. Leidos led AgilePod’s design, integration, and flight demonstration. According to the press release, AgilePod was built to integrate multiple sensors onto operational systems. Leidos modified the platform to prepare the capability for initial flight demonstrations. This risk reduction test showed how open architectures along with mechanical and electrical solutions can reconfigure sensors to support operational needs for multiple aircraft. Testing was conducted as part of Project Harvest Reaper and run by the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Sensors Directorate Blue Guardian team.

GMU Awarded $10M DHS Grant

The Department of Homeland Security selected George Mason University (GMU) to lead the Department’s Center of Excellence in Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis. The $10 million grant is among the latest research awards the university has received. Under the grant, GMU will lead a consortium of universities and law enforcement agencies to investigate patterns of criminal activities and forensics, and develop strategies to predict and disrupt transnational crime.

USGIF Working Group to Participate in Small Satellite Conference

The 2017 Small Satellite Conference is Aug. 5-10 at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. USGIF’s Small Sats Working Group will host a session on GEOINT Analytics and Small Sats Aug. 8. Panelists will discuss both space systems and ground systems including the analytics needed to answer defense and intelligence user needs.

Peer Intel

Nitro Solutions appointed Lisa Monnet as its new CEO. Prior to joining Nitro Solutions, Monnet served as a senior advisor providing multidiscipline support to the Intelligence Community and Department of Defense worldwide. She also founded numerous startups within the general aviation and technology industry.

Photo Credit: Lockheed Martin

The post Weekly GEOINT Community News appeared first on Trajectory Magazine.

]]>
34426
Weekly GEOINT Community News http://trajectorymagazine.com/weekly-geoint-community-news-15/ Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:00:45 +0000 http://trajectorymagazine.com/?p=34368 NGA Signs Second Contract with Planet; OGSystems Spins Off BlueGlass Analytics Platform; Google Takes Street View to International Space Station

The post Weekly GEOINT Community News appeared first on Trajectory Magazine.

]]>
NGA Signs Second Contract with Planet

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) announced a $14 million, one-year subscription to Planet. According to the press release, the subscription—made through Planet’s General Services Administration Information Technology Schedule Contract—enables the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community to access Planet’s imagery of more than 25 select regions of interest, ranging from portions of the Middle-East, Asia, and Africa to Central and South America. This contract follows a seven-month, $20 million pilot contract that began in September 2016.

OGSystems Spins Off BlueGlass Analytics Platform

OGSystems announced its location-based analytics BlueGlass platform has been spun off into an independent private company named GeoSpark Analytics. GeoSpark Analytics will continue the development of BlueGlass, building an ecosystem of applications and services that bring together big data from space, ground, and cyber with artificial intelligence and machine learning. OGSystems will be the exclusive integrator of the BlueGlass platform, now powered by GeoSpark Analytics.

Google Takes Street View to International Space Station

Google Street View has gone beyond Earth for the first time to offer Street View for the International Space Station (ISS). According to The Verge, Street View now allows users to explore the spaceship in panoramic 360-degree imagery in 15 connected modules. Users can check out all areas of the spacecraft and click on launch notes for more details. Google also released this behind the scenes video on mapping the ISS.

Geoscience Australia Releases Sea Floor Map

Geoscience Australia, the Australian government’s geoscientific research agency, released sea floor mapping data collected during the first phase of the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in 2014. The search involved collecting large volumes of data in a remote part of the southern Indian Ocean. Topographic data was collected to develop maps of the sea floor in the search area. Although the search did not uncover the missing aircraft, it did reveal undiscovered volcanoes, mountain ridges, and deep trenches that will contribute to a greater understanding of deep ocean geology. View the data here.

Peer Intel

Orbital Insight appointed Chris Incardona vice president of public sector and strategic program development. In this role, Incardona will pursue clientele in the defense, intelligence, and civil sectors of government. 

Barry Tilton joined Vricon as its vice president of engineering and chief technology officer for the company’s government programs. Tilton will spearhead efforts to create new content and improve response times and product quality for Vricon’s customers.

Photo Credit: Google Street View

The post Weekly GEOINT Community News appeared first on Trajectory Magazine.

]]>
34368
Weekly GEOINT Community News http://trajectorymagazine.com/weekly-geoint-community-news-14/ Mon, 17 Jul 2017 15:47:31 +0000 http://trajectorymagazine.com/?p=34343 Boundless Partners with Mapbox; Leidos Awarded $64 Million U.S. Army Task Order; Soyuz-2 Launches, Releases 73 Satellites; Carahsoft Offers Webinar Series

The post Weekly GEOINT Community News appeared first on Trajectory Magazine.

]]>
Boundless Partners with Mapbox

Boundless announced a strategic partnership with Mapbox that will allow Boundless customers to access Mapbox base maps within the Boundless Connect ecosystem. Mapbox content will be available through Boundless Connect plugin or Boundless Suite and Exchange subscriptions. Available Mapbox base maps include Streets, Outdoors, Light and Dark, Satellite, and Satellite Streets.

Additionally, Boundless unveiled the next generation of its desktop GIS software with the release of Boundless Desktop 1.1. The update includes increased support for public key infrastructure authentication, new options for styling, new image discovery and terrain analysis toolbars, and access to Mapbox base maps.

Leidos Awarded $64 Million U.S. Army Task Order

Leidos was awarded a $64 million task order from the U.S. Army to integrate, test, and demonstrate three Airborne Reconnaissance Low-Enhanced (ARL-E) systems under the ARL-E program. ARL-E is a manned, multi-intelligent airborne platform that provides the ability to detect, locate, classify/identify, and track surface targets in day/night, near-all-weather conditions. Leidos will integrate the previously delivered mission equipment payload onto the DHC-8 aircraft, including testing and delivery of the complete ARL-E system.

Soyuz-2 Launches, Releases 73 Satellites

Soyuz-2 lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan July 14 carrying 73 satellites, including spacecraft for four companies’ small sat constellations, reports SpaceNews. This was the largest number of satellites flown on a single Russian rocket to date. The primary payload was the Kanopus-V-IK remote sensing satellite, accompanied by 72 small sat secondary payloads. Among the secondary payloads were 48 Dove satellites from Planet, eight Lemur satellites from Spire, and three CICERO GPS radio occultation satellites from GeoOptics. The launch also included two Corvus-BC medium-resolution cubesats from Astro Digital, small sats from the University of Toronto’s Space Flight Laboratory built for the Norwegian Space Center, and some small sats built by Russian universities.

Carahsoft Offers Webinar Series

Expanding on conversations from the GEOINT 2017 Symposium, Carahsoft will host a free webinar series July 24-27 titled “Riding the Wave of the GEOINT Revolution.” Each webinar will be led by experts from companies such as Google, Autodesk, and ikeGPS, and will include a discussion of current challenges the GEOINT Community is facing and present solutions that will keep the GEOINT Revolution moving forward. View the webinars and register today.

Photo Credit: Mapbox

The post Weekly GEOINT Community News appeared first on Trajectory Magazine.

]]>
34343
Enabling New Space http://trajectorymagazine.com/enabling-new-space/ Wed, 07 Jun 2017 05:05:09 +0000 http://trajectorymagazine.com/?p=34028 Small sat experts discuss opportunities, barriers to innovation

The post Enabling New Space appeared first on Trajectory Magazine.

]]>
Leading experts in the small satellite market gathered at GEOINT 2017 for USGIF’s Small Satellite Working Group meeting to discuss the modern space landscape and changes required to break barriers and foster innovation in the small sat community.

Moderator Rob Zitz, co-chair of the working group and a senior vice president for MDA, posed the question: “How do we go faster? How do we help government agencies and others who want new space get there sooner?”

A principal topic of discussion was the interplay between commercial and government space initiatives. In the current market, said John Hanna, VP of government programs for Spaceflight Industries, it’s extremely hard for startups and commercial space actors to garner timely licensing and funding from government. He continued, saying until stronger space leadership is established in the Pentagon, some companies will choose to turn away from government altogether.

Marcy Steinke, DigitalGlobe’s senior VP of government relations and public policy, said a major regulatory shift on Capitol Hill is necessary to take commercial satellite capabilities to the next level. The existing legislation overseeing the industry—the Land Remote Sensing Act—was established in 1992, she said, voicing her support for a new bill currently making rounds in Congress.

According to Keith Johnson, CTO and chief engineer with Leidos, part of that government-commercial interplay needs to include the establishment of space traffic management and situational awareness. This isn’t an exclusively government-oriented problem—commercial actors need to collaborate as well. “Rules of the road” are imperative to govern the congested space of the future and to limit buildup of debris. The sustainability of large-scale small-sat launches was brought into question, and Steinke referenced the possibility of increased tracking efforts to enhance space object awareness.

Start a conversation with people that don’t know anything about small sats.” —Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, Consultant

National security consultant Jeff “Skunk” Baxter mentioned the importance of fresh, innovative thought leadership from outside the Intelligence Community.

“Start a conversation with people that don’t know anything about small sats,” Baxter said. “It will stimulate ideas, it will stimulate concepts, and it will hopefully get us further down the line,” he said.

Zitz synthesized the discussion as such: “The threat we face requires us to change space architecture to make it more resilient. One way to do that is to move to smaller satellites in larger numbers. Policy or funding or cultural barriers in the way of moving to smaller satellites are things we as a community have to address and overcome.”

Yet the future of space looks promising. In the next few years, NASA plans to have repair robots in orbit, directly servicing deployed satellites. Automation will allow analysts to keep up with the increasing collection of vast amounts of data. Steve Jacques, managing partner of Jacques and Associates, said engineers are actively developing onboard data processors that would revolutionize the way information is disseminated. Concluded Hanna, “It’s a great space to be in.”

The post Enabling New Space appeared first on Trajectory Magazine.

]]>
34028
Space-based Revolution http://trajectorymagazine.com/space-based-revolution/ Tue, 06 Jun 2017 03:41:29 +0000 http://trajectorymagazine.com/?p=33873 Commercial remote sensing experts agree: the community is in the midst of a revolution

The post Space-based Revolution appeared first on Trajectory Magazine.

]]>
Commercial remote sensing experts agree: the community is in the midst of a revolution.

According to Robbie Schingler, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Planet, launch is the single greatest barrier to innovation in the remote sensing industry. Schingler voiced his support for secondary payload offerings such as cubesat deployer ISIPOD and NASA’s NanoLaunch, a program for small, low-cost vehicles to deploy cubesats in space.

Just three months ago in India, 104 satellites were launched on a single rocket, shattering the world record three times over. Planet owned 88 of those satellites. When fully deployed at the end of this month, Planet’s 150-satellite constellation will be able to function as a line scanner, imaging the entire surface of the earth every day.

Schingler also highlighted the sensor revolution on the ground, the need for open space situational awareness and traffic management protocol (similar to traditional air traffic management), and Earth observation trends such as pixel pattern analysis and machine learning.

“GED Talk” Perspectives from Space: Big-Sat, Small-Sat, and Clustered from Trajectory On Location on Vimeo.

Abe Usher, CTO of DigitalGlobe Radiant, said as remote sensing data increases in volume, machine learning and automation will become necessary to consume such large swathes of imagery. Usher discussed how proxy variables are being used to improve computer vision and automated perception of digital images. Pizza deliveries to the White House and Pentagon, for example, can indicate high-intensity national security planning and possible subsequent military action, as was the case in the nights leading up to the launch of Operation Desert Storm.

Modern machine learning algorithms can train computers to learn a level of human-like subject matter expertise and detect similar contextual clues.

“The technology is not perfect, but it’s maturing. If we can do this for on-the-ground photos, why not do this with video?” Usher said. Usher isn’t the first to pose such a question; off-the-shelf algorithms such as YOLO are mature enough to detect objects within video content faster than real-time.

DigitalGlobe is working alongside CosmiQ Works and NVIDIA to advance this sector of the tradecraft with an open data initiative called SpaceNet, which releases pre-labeled overhead imagery models into the public domain so others can create their own machine learning models for object identification.

That collaborative framework isn’t exclusive to DigitalGlobe. Other remote sensing players like Spaceflight Industries have also recognized the necessity of open-source sharing if the industry wants to progress as fast as the tech it relies upon. Spaceflight’s BlackSky imaging platform provides users access to internal satellite media as well as social media, traditional news media, and the user’s proprietary material. For example, BlackSky Events—one of the platform’s analysis offerings—used machine learning to gather relevant, publicly available text data and visuals about the June 3 London attack within a matter of minutes.

According to BlackSky Constellation Operations Engineer Chantz Thomas, the company’s other key offering is BlackSky Spectra, which provides automated feature extraction in addition to a web-based database of imagery from Spaceflight and other partners.

The post Space-based Revolution appeared first on Trajectory Magazine.

]]>
33873
Observing Earth http://trajectorymagazine.com/observing-earth/ Mon, 05 Jun 2017 02:25:17 +0000 http://trajectorymagazine.com/?p=33708 Earth-i promotes new color video satellite constellation

The post Observing Earth appeared first on Trajectory Magazine.

]]>
British satellite operator Earth-i (Booth 1528) is expanding its role in the commercial Earth observation market. The company recently announced plans to launch and operate Europe’s first commercial satellite constellation offering both video and imagery—and what it claims is the first in the world to provide full-color video footage.

“We have chosen a specific balance of higher image quality from lower cost, taskable, long-life micro-satellites that we can deploy in sufficient numbers,” said Earth-i CEO Richard Blain.

Earth-i is highlighting its constellation at GEOINT 2017 to glean initial feedback from current and potential customers and partners. Its booth, located in the New Member Showcase section of the exhibit hall, touts Earth-i’s progress in high-resolution (better than 1 meter) data collection as well as its ability to accurately track moving objects from space.

“This forms part of our capability package along with high-frequency revisit rates that we anticipate will reach multiple revisits per day to the same point on Earth,” Blain said.

Earth-i’s next satellite prototype, which is scheduled for launch later this year, will be used to test capabilities including tasking, data downlinks, and image acquisition techniques.

According to Blain, “The launch of our own constellation will enable us to meet the rising demand for high-resolution Earth observation data to support many applications including big data analytics, pattern of life [recognition], infrastructure monitoring, and disaster relief.”

Photo courtesy of Earth-i

The post Observing Earth appeared first on Trajectory Magazine.

]]>
33708